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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: The Round Up is HERE! And Remembering...

September 10, 2015

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, student work, ponderings

Welcome, Poetry Lovers!

Thank you for finding your way here. I’m wrangling the Poetry Friday Roundup and look forward to your contributions. You early birds/night owls: go ahead and leave your links in the comments. Friday folks, drop by any time during the day with your links. I’ll settle in with a hearty supply of coffee Friday morning and round up throughout the day.

While we all look forward to the change of seasons, and many are settling in to the freshness of a new school year, today’s anniversary also stops us in our tracks. It’s hard to believe 14 years have passed since one of the defining events in our country’s history unfolded in slow horror. I know exactly where I was that day and what I was doing; I’ll bet you do, too. For those who lost loved ones in the tragedy of 9-11, I hope the pain has been tempered with the passage of time, and rest assured we will never forget.

The poem I share today comes from a young poet who must have been born after that tragic day. Yet she conveys its weight and significance. Many thanks to Catherine C. for sharing her writing and art:

            What Does 9/11 Know?

            It knows the taste of ash
          It knows the smell of smoke
        It knows the sound of screaming

        What does 9/11 know?
 It knows the sight of burning buildings
          It knows the pain of death

©Catherine C. All rights reserved. (Grade 5 last year; now in middle school.)

Catherine’s poem was part of Jone MacCulloch’s annual Poetry Month “Postcard Project” celebrating student work. If you haven’t been a lucky recipient, here’s how it works. Jone, media specialist at Silver Star Elementary School in Washington state, inspires students to create poems and art on postcards, and lucky folks like you and me can send her our address to have one mailed to us. A very special way to celebrate April.

She also posts postcard poems on her school library blog throughout the month. You’ll find many thoughtful “What Does […] Know?” poems among this year’s collection, including some more commemorating September 11th. Click here to scroll through the great student work from this past April.

How did this project come about?

“I love postcards. I love teaching poetry,” Jone explains. “So in 2008, I decided that this would be a great project for our school.

“We start writing poems in the library in about January or February. I usually teach a form such as a cinquain. I have done a modified Fibonacci in the past. I also use these poems for submission to the National Schools Project which publishes the Young American Poetry Digest .”

Where do the poetry topics come from?

“To me, poetry is a great way to synthesize learning, so I usually try to tie it to what they are studying in the classroom,” Jone says. “With the fifth graders, they get to elect a topic for research. I saw Michelle H. Barnes' post with Joyce Sidman's ‘Deeper Truth’ poem and thought that would be perfect for fifth grade this year.”

Perfect, indeed. Don’t you love how members of the Poetry Friday community inspire each other, and that often ends up blossoming in the minds and works of students?

You can learn more about Jone’s own writing here, including her book of haiku. Also, many of her poem-worthy, swoon-worthy photographs are posted here.

Thanks to everyone for joining in today. Bring on the poetry!

Here we go:

Hang onto your hat. And you pencil and your iPad - Buffy "The Thief" Silverman is guest posting at Michelle's Today's Little Ditty, continuing an earlier theme of stealing/borrowing from fabulous poems. (She offers examples from two of the best poets ever, and some of her own fine work.)

A warm Poetry Friday Welcome to newcomers cbhanek , a mother-daughter teacher-author duo. Today the blog features a beautiful 9-11 tribute and discussion of a special book celebrating babies born in this country on that day, as well as Emily D’s timeless “Hope is the thing with feathers.”

Diane delights us today with a grin-inducing illustrated poem from her Angel Sketchbook Project, “Saved by the Bowl,” at Random Noodling.

And at Diane’s Kurious Kitty, find a thought-provoking poem by Polish poet, Anna Swir, titled "Poetry Reading" from an anthology with an irresistible title.

Donna at Mainely Write has lots of goodness up today. First, she shares Margart Simon’s Summer Poem Swap poem, “Cynthia’s Garden,” and then links to two of her own poems on “Spark,” - one inspired by an image from fellow Spark-er Tish Carter and one which inspired an image from her.

Laura continues to open our eyes to the wider world at Author Amok, featuring first generation American Poet Leona Sevick and her poem "Lion brothers," a powerful look inside her mother’s life as an immigrant woman working in an American factory. (Timely in light of all the current international news.) She leaves us on a lighter note, though, chewing a little poetic cud.

Iphigene offers up a stunning original poem, "Fighting Dragons," and bold painting about depression – such an important subject we often shy away from. Visit Gathering Books for a powerful and beautiful personal post.

Lovely Linda at Teacher Dance shares remembrances we commemorate and personal ones too in an original poem, “Missing,” that says much in few words.

Make your mark in life with the ever-gracious Carol at Beyond Literacy Link, where you’ll find the celebration for International Dot Day (Sept. 15) already starting. Great ideas for teachers, and an original poem and images, too! And, pssst… circle back this weekend, when Carol will unveil her newest poetry gallery, “Summer Splashings.”

Catherine has rather brilliantly connected Keith Urban’s new hit, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" with George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” – with terrific ideas of how this pairing will appeal to older students and spark their own poetic connections. Country music fan or not, click on over to Reading to the Core for the goods, and a video (worthy of a Jama Rattigan Eye Candy swoon, I might add)!

Speaking of country music, do you know Brad Paisley’s “Letter to Me?”, wherein he writes some advice to his 17-year-old self? I don’t know if the Teaching Authors know this song, but JoAnn, Esther and Carla have shared “Dear Younger Me” letters on the blog, and our good buddy April is chiming in with a few (very good!) “words to the wise” to new writers, a great original cartoon, and an original poem to her own teen self.

Kat is joining the poetry party from Down Under with some terrific news at Kats Whiskers. Let’s just say she was so busy engaging with young readers at a literary event that she was “late” to her OWN congratulatory party… (Congrats, Kat!)

Write much? Then you’ll relate to Mary Lee’s perfect imagery in “Parched,” a poem about a writerly dry spell, over at A Year of Reading. (Don’t worry – there’s a bit of hope at the end!)

Tabatha’s always bringing us treasures, and today she has a trove of gorgeous and poignant poems from Paul Hostovsky at The Opposite of Indifference. Can you pick a favorite?

With more helpful ways to commemorate September 11 in the classroom, Free Range Readers brings us a profound poem by young Mattie Stepanek written on 9-12 2001, as well as links to additional resources.

Oh, how I do love the cross-pollination of Poetry Friday. Margaret was inspired by a recent post on Tabatha’s blog to try something fun with her students, resulting in some rollicking pairings over at Reflections on the Teche: “You be the Pencil, I’ll be the Poem…”. Enjoy!

Amy’s back with her boots on at The Poem Farm, with a heartfelt poem called “I Love Them Both.” Poetry helps folks of all ages articulate family dynamics that might be hard to talk about.

Irene, curator of all-things-for-the-poetic-life, shares a bounty of inspirations today: her artist’s prayer after working through The Artist’s Way, a movie recommendation(sounds wonderful!) and two poems she reads for us on Soundcloud. Thanks, Friend!

At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme , Matt shares an original poem/photograph combination. He didn’t write “Fata Cumulonimbus” specifically with 9-11 in mind, but it’s appropriate for the day.

If you’ve been following Penny’s “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt” series, or if you haven’t, you’ll enjoy a gallery of amazing art by Landon (the great nephew) - a super-talented and poetry-inspiring fifth-grader. Keep up the awesome work, Landon!

Violet Nesdoly reminds us of the loveliness of September with a trip to a peaceful island in her “Savary Island in September.” She’s included a beautiful picture, but the words themselves will carry you away.

At Poetry for Children, Sylvia shares a special treat – Don Tate’s new book, Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, the first book he’s written as well as illustrated. As Syliva says, the book “celebrates literacy, poetry, and the human spirit.” She’s included slides of some of the stages of Don’s work for this book – don’t you love a peek into process? (I once met Don at a conference, and he’s just a super nice guy, too! Happy to see all these rave critical reviews.)

Little Willow shares Mary Oliver’s “If I Were” at bildungsroman. A welcome coutnerpoint about life’s exuberant moments in the midst of a sober anniversary.

Sheri’s in today connecting us to a review she wrote of of The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou, and a backstory of her first encounters with the book when it came out in the spring -- and its possible adventures! Okay, you’ll just have to click over to see what I’m talking about.

At All about the Books with Janet Squires, Janet offers a brief review of Irene Latham’s Dear Wandering Wildebeest And Other Poems from the Water Hole, illustrated by Anna Wadham. One of our favorites!

Holly is after my own heart today with a poetic and pictorial look at New England’s Great Marsh – I wonder about the similarities and differences between the marsh there, and here in the Lowcountry? She’s penned a poem I’m jealous of, "Marsh Hair,"at Hatbooks.

{Wee break time. Other work calls. I'll be back in a little while to round up stragglers!}

Tricia at The Miss Rumphisu Effect offers a moving poem in light of this anniversary, “Sepember Twelfth, 2001” by the amazing X. J. Kennedy. Thanks also to Tricia for links to collections of/guides to poetry commemorating 9-11.

Jone is here with a few more thoughts on today's remembrance, plus she's added the other two 9-11 poem postcards from students last year to her post today at Check it Out. Many thanks again to Jone and her former students for helping us commemorate this day.

Katie of The Logonauts shines the light on Flutter and Hum – Animal Poems by Julie Paschkis , or Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales , because this book is bilingual! (I am crazy about Julie’s work and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, so I love this sneak peek.)

Ramona appropriately ends the day with Georgia Heard’s This Place I Know – Poems of Comfort, for the children and all those impacted by 9-11, at Pleasures From the Page. Thank you, Ramona.


  1. September 10, 2015 9:22 PM EDT
    Such sober words for a 5th grader, yet Catherine sums up the day with power and respect. There's nothing I like seeing more than these ditty challenges taking on lives of their own in the classroom! Our teacher du jour at Today's Little Ditty is Buffy Silverman. She's back with another lesson in thievery.
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  2. September 10, 2015 9:30 PM EDT
    PS. Where are my manners? THANK YOU for hosting today, Robyn, for bringing attention to the 9/11 anniversary, and, of course, for linking to Joyce's Sidman's interview as well.
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  3. September 10, 2015 9:37 PM EDT
    Thank you for hosting the round up; thank you for sharing the beautiful (& very mature!) words from a young poet born post-9/11. Amazing! Thank you, too, for allowing the early birds to begin posting. Since this is my first Poetry Friday post, I'm "anxious" to do so. I feel especially humbled by and honored to have the opportunity to share my thoughts about Sept. 11--what got us through …Thoughts based on a pictorial book celebrating the birth of 50 babies who arrived on September 11, 2001, Dickinson’s definitional poem about hope, and poet Sandburg’s quote connecting babies with God’s confirmation for an ongoing world. In remembrance of one of our country's defining days, I hope I have done right by all those, including a former student, whose life was lost. God bless us all. (Apologies if my protocols are off.)
    - cbhanek
  4. September 10, 2015 10:02 PM EDT
    Thank you for the thoughtful post, Robyn. I've received postcards from Jone's poets the past two years. Although I know they're coming, they somehow arrive when least expected! Always a delight.

    I have an original "angel" poem at Random Noodling and at Kurious Kitty there's a poem by Polish poet, Anna Swir, titled "Poetry Reading."
    - Diane Mayr
  5. September 10, 2015 11:05 PM EDT
    Thanks for hosting today, Robyn! Glad you remembered to share that 9/11 poem. It is good to remember that it happened, even if painful to do so.
    I am sharing Margaret Simon's swap, and links to Spark poems I've had posted.
    - Donna Smith
  6. September 10, 2015 11:23 PM EDT
    Hi, Robyn. Thank you for hosting. I love participating in Jone's postcard poem project every spring.

    Because of the current refugee crisis, I'm thinking about what it's like to be a first generation American. Poet Leona Sevick stops by with her poem "Lion brothers," about her immigrant mother's time working in an American factory.
    - Laura Shovan
  7. September 10, 2015 11:33 PM EDT
    I remember 9/11 so vividly. I'm continents away, but I remember seeing watching in the news as the second tower got hit. I can't believe its been 14 years. The poem you shared made me wonder too: What does 9/11 know?

    For today's post, Gathering Books explores Depression and the way to healing. Here's our link:
    - Gathering Books
  8. September 10, 2015 11:49 PM EDT
    This will be a Poetry Friday to gather and remember, I think, and you've started us so beautifully with Jone's student's thought-filled poem, although it is her history, she writes it as if she lived it. Jone's postcards spread goodness all over the country. It was nice to read all that you shared today, Robyn, and thanks for hosting. I wrote about 9/11 too, bittersweet because it's also a dear grandmother's birthday.
    - Linda Baie
  9. September 10, 2015 11:50 PM EDT
    That poem by Catherine is one of the best poems I've read in a long time, and from a then 5th grader at that! I hope she keeps writing. She's part of the future of poetry.
    - Charles Waters
  10. September 10, 2015 11:56 PM EDT
    Robyn, thank you for sharing the 9/11poem that touched my heart since my town was one that suffered much loss. For Poetry Friday I am offering Make Your Mark in LIfe! at Come join me as I celebrate International Dot Day 15. At the end of the post you will find a special notice about my weekend unveiling of my newest online gallery of artistic expressions, Summer Splashings. Some Poetry Friday friends are contributors. Also, thank you for highlighting Jone's amazing postcard project.
    - Carol Varsalona
  11. September 11, 2015 12:08 AM EDT
    Thank you for hosting, Robyn, and sharing Catherine's moving poem.
    I'm sharing the lyrics to Keith Urban's new song, "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" and thinking about what a great pairing it makes with George Ella Lyon's "Where I'm From."
    - Catherine
  12. September 11, 2015 12:18 AM EDT
    Oh, Robyn ~ thank you for sharing the 911 poem. It's hard to believe it's been so long...

    Thank you for hosting! And speaking of writing postcards, in our newest series, each of the TeachingAuthors writes a letter of advice to her younger self:

    I've included an original poem at the end that has nothing to do with writing...but I DO wish my young self had read this poem before she began dating Michael.

    The link goes live on Friday morning.

    Cheerio ~
    - April Halprin Wayland
  13. September 11, 2015 4:07 AM EDT
    A sobering, but beautiful, poem.
    - Sally Murphy
  14. September 11, 2015 5:27 AM EDT
    Catherine's poem is raw, in a beautiful but painful way. Thank-you for sharing, Robyn - and hosting this week's Poetry Friday.

    I had exciting news this week, so that became my Poetry Friday post;
    - katswhiskers (KatApel)
  15. September 11, 2015 5:49 AM EDT
    Thank you for sharing Catherine's words. Such wisdom from a young poet.

    I'm suffering through a dry spell in my writing. And I know the best way out is by...writing! I'm sharing an original poem today:

    Thanks for hosting the roundup!
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  16. September 11, 2015 5:51 AM EDT
    Well done, Catherine! Thank you for sharing Catherine's poem with us, and for hosting today, Robyn. I don't think I will have time to read the poems for a day or two, but I am looking forward to it!
    I have poems by Paul Hostovsky :
    - Tabatha
  17. September 11, 2015 6:43 AM EDT
    This is an amazing post.Thank you for hosting today's round up.
  18. September 11, 2015 6:54 AM EDT
    I borrowed Tabatha's idea from last week and have students' responses to "You be the _____, I'll be the _____." Rhyming fun!
    - Margaret Simon
  19. September 11, 2015 7:34 AM EDT
    Catherine's poem stopped me in my tracks. Thank you for sharing it today, a reminder of a truly sad day and chapter in our country's history. Thank you, too, for highlighting Jone's beautiful work. She is so generous and inspiring, and I love receiving her students' postcards each year.

    Today at The Poem Farm, well...I'm back from my break with a poem about love. You can find it here -

    Happy Poetry Friday, Robyn! xo
    - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  20. September 11, 2015 7:35 AM EDT
    Hi Robyn - is that a new pic of you shining back at me? Love! Thank you for hosting. Jone's poem postcard project is one of my favorite ways to celebrate NPM, and this poem is wonderful. Thinking of all those who lost loved ones that day... what an awful time. The memorial, though, in NYC, is incredible. Highly highly recommend.

    I'm in today with a hodgepodge: my artist's prayer, a movie recommendation and 2 poems!

    Love to you, friend! Keep shining! xo (doesn't that sound like something someone would sign in a yearbook? Ha!)
    - Irene Latham
  21. September 11, 2015 8:36 AM EDT
    Thanks for hosting, Robyn! Indeed, our kids understand some things more deeply than we give them credit for. I didn't write my offering for today with 9-11 in mind, although it certainly feels appropriate:
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  22. September 11, 2015 8:37 AM EDT
    Thank you for sharing Catherine's poem. It well-written and touching.
    Thanks for hosting.

    Today Landon and I are collaborating on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt with a new drawing by Landon and a recap of some of his other art.
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  23. September 11, 2015 8:38 AM EDT
    I forgot to include my link. Here it is.
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  24. September 11, 2015 9:59 AM EDT
    It is amazing how a child so young, like Catherine C. was able to capture the mood and feeling of NYC on Sept. 11th, 2001. Wow.
    - Stacey
  25. September 11, 2015 10:21 AM EDT
    Thank you RHB, for hosting us today! I love the 9/11 poem you post. I hope that poet is still poeming! My post is a reflection from a September holiday we took some years ago to a beautiful island. "Savary Island in September" is here:
    - Violet n.
  26. September 11, 2015 10:29 AM EDT
    Hi, Robyn, thanks for hosting and for the beautiful tribute on this day. My post seems a bit light-weight in contrast, but it's about Don Tate's new book, POET.
    - Sylvia Vardell
  27. September 11, 2015 10:45 AM EDT
    I posted Mary Oliver's words at my blog, Bildungsroman:
    - Little Willow
  28. September 11, 2015 11:47 AM EDT
    Thank you for sharing Catherine’s powerful poem and the link to more student poems. Great work!
    And thanks for hosting, Robyn.
    I’ve been away from Poetry Friday for a while, but I’m so happy to be back. Today I am sharing a link to a book review I wrote on The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou and a little story related to it.
    - Sheri Doyle
  29. September 11, 2015 12:09 PM EDT
    My selection is "Dear Wandering Wildebeest: and other poems from the water hole" by Irene Latham with illustrations by Anna Wadham.
    - Janet Squires
  30. September 11, 2015 12:43 PM EDT
    Thank you hosting the roundup, Robyn! I'm back again after a hiatus and my post is about the New England salt marsh known as the Great Marsh. Here it is with a cinquain: Thank you!
    - Holly Thompson
  31. September 11, 2015 1:45 PM EDT
    Thanks for sharing this poem. I too am in today with a poem related to this terrible event. That poem is September Twelfth, 2001 by X.J. Kennedy.

    Thanks for hosting.
    - Tricia
  32. September 11, 2015 2:20 PM EDT
    As always, thanks for the links and poems. It's good that I didn't see this post before lunch. I wouldn't have made any lunch.
    - Patricia Cruzan
  33. September 11, 2015 2:30 PM EDT
    Thanks, Patricia - it's a powerful poem from such a young writer, isn't it? And thanks to others reading along today - Charles and Sally and Stacey. Your comments are appreciated.
    - Robyn Black
  34. September 11, 2015 2:56 PM EDT
    I love these Know poems. This is so visceral. 9/11 is my niece's birthday, so that celebration of life always tempers the sad memories of the date. My blog and site are down for some work, so I'm just stopping by to say hi and thanks for hosting!
    - Laura Purdie Salas
  35. September 11, 2015 3:20 PM EDT
    I am late. Again, thank you for sharing Catherine's poem. I have two more to share about 9/11.
    - Jone
  36. September 11, 2015 4:28 PM EDT
    Laura, always glad to see your name! Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughtful comments. Happy Birthday to your niece!
    - Robyn Black
  37. September 11, 2015 5:15 PM EDT
    Thanks for hosting, and thanks for the chance to remember.

    I am sharing a new bilingual poetry book by Julie Paschkis called Flutter & Hum / Aleteo y Zumbido
    - Katie @ The Logonauts
  38. September 11, 2015 7:32 PM EDT
    The Meaning of Poetry
    Do not pick a fight with poetry.
    Look her in the eye and you will see.
    She is not meant to mean.
    She is only meant to be.
    - Charles Ghigna - Father Goose®
  39. September 11, 2015 8:47 PM EDT
    Wow, Catherine's poem is quite moving. Amazing to think that this fifth grade poet is writing about history that happened before she was born. No post for me today (other than my visit to Michelle's blog.) Thanks for hosting, Robyn.
    - Buffy Silverman
  40. September 11, 2015 8:48 PM EDT
    Thanks for coming by, Charles!
    - Robyn Black
  41. September 11, 2015 8:50 PM EDT
    Thanks for popping in, Buffy - loved your guest post today!
    - Robyn Black
  42. September 11, 2015 9:32 PM EDT
    I'm late, but wanted to share Georgia Heard's anthology This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort, selected to comfort the children of NYC.
    - Ramona
  43. September 11, 2015 9:36 PM EDT
    Robyn, thanks for sharing Jone's project (the poem I received this year was "What Does Pompeii Know?") and for hosting Poetry Friday today.
    - Ramona

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